Thursday, February 22, 2007
Byers girls lose to Belmont in final
By BARRY BURLESON
The H.W. Byers Lady Lions faced a tall task in the Region 1-2A championship game - beat Belmont on its home court.
And the second-seeded Lady Cardinals had some revenge on their minds, too. They had lost to top-seeded Byers on February 2 to wrap up the regular season division schedule.
The difference was the second half, when Belmont outscored the Lady Lions 29-20 to claim a 68-58 win and a first-place trophy.
“Going to Belmont, we knew we had to play almost perfectly to give ourselves a chance to win, and we didn’t do that,” said Jason Thompson, coach of the Lady Lions.
Byers came out of the starting gate strong. It went up 18-15 after one period. Belmont rallied to lead 29-28 at the half.
“We played good, especially in the first quarter,” Thompson said. “Toward the end of the second quarter, the momentum changed, and they did enough the rest of the way to keep it.”
Nine Lady Lions scored. Rachel Jones led the offense with 19 points. Marian Parker added 11.
Byers (22-9) hosted Leland Monday night in the first round of the Class 2A North Basketball Tournament. Belmont (28-3) hosted Tchula Marshall.
“If we take care of business, we’re in the best bracket,” Thompson said. “We can’t overlook anybody, but we have a chance to make a run.”
Cardinals vs. Lions
Two Marshall County schools collided in the district boys’ consolation game Friday evening at Belmont with Potts Camp turning back H.W. Byers 69-63.
“It’s always good to beat Byers - anytime you play a rival,” said Brian Smith, head coach of the Cardinals. “It was important because it gave us a number three seed (going into the North Half).”
Both the Cardinals and the Lions were trying to bounce back from Thursday losses, Potts Camp to Ashland and Byers to Belmont.
“I was proud of my kids,” Smith said. “Both teams had tough losses the night before, but I think Byers’ was even tougher (double overtime). Plus the long trip (to Belmont) takes a lot out of kids.”
Smith said his team’s solid free-throw shooting in the fourth was the difference. The Cardinals outscored the Lions 20-13 in the final quarter.
“We did a good job of staying out of foul trouble near the end, and we were able to weather the storm,” he said.
Four Potts Camp players spearheaded a balanced scoring attack - Justin Smith with 21, Jacobye Davis with 19, Shawn Collins with 15 and Josh Martin with 14.
Byers also had four in double digits - Tristan Kizer with 12 and Justin Owens, Darius Wells and Fred Jones all with 10 each.
The Cardinals (21-12) visited Leflore County Tuesday night to open the Class 2A North Tournament. The Lions (16-13) traveled to Leland Tuesday.
Lady Cardinals vs. New Site
A disastrous third quarter spelled loss for the Potts Camp Lady Cardinals in the Region 1-2A Tournament consolation contest Friday. They fell 62-53 to New Site.
Potts Camp carried a 33-23 lead to the locker room at the half but the tide turned in the next quarter, which favored New Site 25-8.
“New Site got a little bit warm, and we missed shots we’d been making,” said Kevin Harris, head coach of the Lady Cardinals.
Top scorers for the Lady Cardinals were Kenyotta Jenkins with 18 and Shanekqua Johnson with 16.
The Lady Cardinals (16-16) traveled to Simmons Monday night in the first round of the Class 2A North Tournament.
With wins Monday night and Tuesday night, H.W. Byers teams and Potts Camp teams would advance to north half’s final eight Thursday, Friday and Saturday at a site to be determined. The top three teams from the north advance to the state tournament.
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